I know I'll probably get crap for this post, but listen. I needed to write this just get it off my chest. You don't have to reply. For the last year or so, I've been stressing out over my photography and having constant negative thoughts about my work whether or not it's good enough. I don't even take photos for myself anymore, I'm pretty much taking photos for other people in hopes they might like it and when they don't, I feel like crap and depressed. I feel like giving up, and it's getting to the point it's starting affect not just my mental abilities but my health as well. Sometimes it feels like I'm going to have a stroke over it. I found out what the problem I think is. It's social media. The notifications doesn't help either, luckily you can disable those. But I remember when I started shooting many years ago, I didn't care what people thought or how many likes, comments or favorites I got. I just took photos and shared them and had fun doing it. But lately it's all about numbers. It's about trying to get the most comments or likes/favorites rather than taking pictures for myself. Lately I've been trying to play the Flickr game as in trying to get on the "explore" page by uploading certain times, using certain groups, following trends, using certain tags on this particular day, commenting and favoriting 100s of other people's photos and quite frankly, it's time consuming and stressful. I spend more time doing that than actually trying to make photos. There is SO MUCH discussions about how you should shoot only ONE single subject, use just one lens and or focal length, have one editing style only, process your photos so they all look the same, blah blah. That's BORING to me. I'd flat out get bored. Am I wrong about this? I'm assuming most of these people are saying this because it will 90% of the time get you a higher following on social media instead of someone like me who likes to shoot a number of different subjects. But I guess that is wrong. It's all about numbers right? I'm not saying it's wrong to only shoot one subject, that's perfectly fine if you have a passion in that one subject, like wildlife, portraits, street, landscapes..etc. But what if you like all those subjects? Does that make you not a photographer? Photography is suppose to be a form of self expression, right? I follow so many amazing photographers out there and I love their work and I'm saying to myself, I wish I was them. They can upload any photo, even a crappy snapshot and they'll get instantly thousands of likes, favorites and comments on how great their photo is simply because they have a 25,000+ followers. I also know photographers who just as amazing, if not better and they have zero followers and their work is incredible. Yet, they don't give a crap whether or not their photos gets views, comments or likes, they simply do it because they love it. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm so lost. I don't want to give up photography, I love taking photos and some people seem to like them and others don't, I guess that's just the way it is. Sure, I could stop sharing my photos on these social media sites but I want to share my photos with the world. What's wrong with that? I think once I can get over these negative thoughts that linger in my mind about my photography and just take photos for myself and not for others, maybe that will actually help me become a better photographer over time instead of trying so hard to be "liked" by the world.